Romania: Second forest ranger killed trying to stop illegal logging of wood, used in furniture, paper & building materials across Europe

Author: Stephen McGrath, BBC, Published on: 23 October 2019

"Romania forest murder as battle over logging turns violent", 21 Oct 2019

Forest ranger Liviu Pop was responding to a tip-off about illegal logging when he was shot dead...this week. He is the second Romanian forest ranger killed in just over a month, and the two deaths have heightened fears for the safety of those whose job it is to protect the forests of this eastern EU country. Romania is home to more than half of Europe's last remaining old-growth and primeval forests — valuable ecosystems... There is considerable alarm at the levels of violence illegal loggers are willing to use in order to steal wood. That wood can end up anywhere across Europe, from furniture to paper or building materials. Liviu Pop had gone out to investigate a possible case of illegal logging in a mountainous region of Maramures... The body...was found by police in a forest gorge on Wednesday night.  Raducu Gorcioaia, 50, was found dead in his car last month, a short distance away from an illegal logging site in Pascani forest district in the north-east of the country. "We are deeply concerned that forest rangers and activists like us are being killed while investigating illegal logging in Romania." Romania's state-owned forest management company, Romsilva, which manages 48% of the country's forests, strongly condemned the latest killing and cited alarming numbers of attacks against forestry workers who were trying to protect against "wood thieves"...

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